Messages from Russian Brides
Gavin Rain will be exhibiting a series of new works at the Worldart Gallery from 27 September to 23 October. This exciting new Commisioner Street venue (opposite the Rand Club) is a well-located extension of the many-faceted Jo’burg art scene.
Rain’s work stimulates viewers on more than one level, and draws upon a wide field of ideas. Having received his practical training at the Ruth Prowse Art School, Rain studied History of Art at the University of Cape Town. He also studied psyschology and neuro-psychology, which partly accounts for his interest in things and people that he refers to as “messages from our environment” – and the way in which they shape our “memories”.
In this exhibition, titled “Russian brides”, the focus falls on women who give themselves out to matrimony. This custom, as seen by the artist, is a form of bartering, where women in fact “sell themselves”. Who are these women who agree to this form of legalised prostitution? By presenting the viewer with a series of images, Rain tries to answer this question. He explores the faces of prospective brides to elicit a contemplation of the consequences that marriage holds for women. To him this is one way of telling stories from our society that often remain untold. Through his artworks these women, as well as some of the social practices bestowed upon them, acquire a voice, while viewers are invited to stand back and and observe. In this way some of the social forms and conventions that are imprinted on our lives also come to be experienced as aesthetics forms.
These ingenious pieces of art are contemporary manifestations of societal forces that have in their presentation, according to Rain, been formally inspired by sources of a highly divergent nature, such as Russian avant garde art, images of the Mars space Surveyor and works by the French pointillist artist, George Seurat.
Where: 95 Commissioner Street (between Rissik and Loveday streets)
When: Thursday 27 September 2007 at 7pm